Hopkins Papers

Hopkins Notes

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I attended the conference between the President, Giraud, Murphy, Captain McCrea, Elliott, and Giraud’s Military Aide, Captain Beaufre. The President laid out to Giraud in a masterful fashion, his concept of French resistance, emphasizing the fighting. McCrea has made complete minutes of this meeting.2 I gained a very favorable impression of Giraud. I know he is a Royalist and is probably a right-winger in all his economic views, but I have a feeling that he is willing to fight. He is about six feet, two inches and a man of about 63 or 64. He has the appearance of health and vigor. He spoke with a good deal of modesty, but with confidence. Had a feeling that he had made up his mind that he was going to do whatever the President [Page 647] wanted in Africa. Apart from fighting in the war, it is impossible to tell whether or not he has political ambitions. He did not give me that impression except when he stressed later, with great vigor, his determination to head the civil as well as the military areas in Africa.

Giraud speaks no English, but the President’s French seemed to me to be better than usual, and Murphy, who did the interpreting, didn’t have much to do. It was only when the President wanted to be perfectly sure that Giraud knew what he was saying on an important matter, that he had Murphy interpret. Giraud laid out his problem[s], which his aide had previously told me,3 and the President settled them all to Giraud’s complete satisfaction, but on the sovereignty point he was adamant, and insisted that Giraud, at the moment, act only as a representative in North Africa, and that he not in any sense speak for France, and that the understanding about all other French possessions should be worked out only when de Gaulle arrived. The President and Giraud then went out on the back porch and a flock of Army photographers took pictures of them, and later of McCrea, Giraud’s aide and me with the President and Giraud. On the whole I thought it was a very satisfactory conference and I am sure that Giraud and the President have mutual confidence in each other.

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  1. For other portions of these notes dealing with the Hopkins–Harriman–Poniatowski and Hopkins–Churchill meetings, see ante, pp. 641 and 642.
  2. See supra.
  3. Regarding the Hopkins–Harriman–Poniatowski meeting, see ante, p. 641.